Ultrasonics: a sound mixing technology

1st April 2013

When liquid mixing, dispersing or homogenising is required in the lab, people tend to think of rotary mixers, although this traditional technology has limitations that can be costly both in time and material.

Ultrasonics is the preferred innovative technology for various mixing applications in the lab. It combines extremely efficient and ultra effective high shear power with the added benefit of simple use and simple cleaning.

Ultrasonic mixing is based on cavitation that causes liquid jets of up to 1000km/hr. The resulting shear breaks agglomerates and primary particles as well as cell walls. In particular for fine size materials, such as nano-particles and high solid loads, ultrasonics has more power than commonly used lab mixers.

Companies, such as Hielscher Ultrasonics supply a variety of ultrasonic lab mixers. By using different sonotrode sizes, each ultrasonic mixer covers a wide range of sample volumes from microlitres to litres. Hielscher offers a setup for the sonication of small samples (0.5 to 1.5ml) in Eppendorf tubes or compatible vials.

The VialTweeter can ultrasonically mix up to eight vials simultaneously while the vials remain closed. For this, the vials are gently pushed into the VialTweeter that sends the ultrasonic vibrations and energy through the vessel to the sample. This technology is intriguing because there are no wetted tools to be cleaned after use. As the same ultrasonic device can be used with a sonotrode for direct sonication, this makes it the most versatile lab mixer.

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Hielscher Ultrasonics GmbH is based in Teltow, Germany.





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